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The stage of a manic or depressive episode that comes on rapidly, lasts a relatively short time, and is severe.
Complementary to the main treatment.
A category of psychiatric disorders that includes depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Affect is a medical term for mood.
A class of medications developed primarily to prevent epileptic seizures. Many anticonvulsants are also useful in treating mania.
A class of medications that have proved effective in treating the symptoms of depression.
A class of medications developed to reduce the frequency/severity of psychotic episodes, which sometimes occur during mania or depression. Antipsychotics have also proved useful in treating mania and the psychosis.
A psychiatric condition characterized by extreme mood states of mania and depression. A person may have bipolar disorder even if they’ve experienced only one of the extreme mood states.
A type of bipolar disorder characterized by at least one full-blown manic episode that doctors can’t attribute to another cause, such as a medication or substance abuse. A Bipolar I diagnosis doesn’t require an episode of major depression.
A type of bipolar disorder characterized by at least one major depressive episode that doctors can’t attribute to another cause, along with experiencing one or more hypomanic episodes. People with Bipolar II are often misdiagnosed with chronic depression and prescribed antidepressants, which may induce mania.
A type of bipolar disorder characterized by hypomanic, manic, or depressive episodes that don’t fit in any of the other bipolar categories and can’t be ascribed to unipolar depression.
A continuous range of mood disorders that extends from highly reactive moods and mood regulation problems to more classical bipolar disorder.
The status of a physician that indicates they’ve passed a standardized exam that qualifies them to specialize in a particular field of medicine.
An individual’s biological pattern of sleep, wakefulness, and energy that plays out through the course of a day. Irregularities in a person’s circadian rhythm can destabilize moods.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a therapy that attempts to identify negative thoughts and thought processes and their resulting behaviors and retrain individuals to think and act more positively.
Any medical condition that presents along with and often independent from another condition. People who have bipolar disorder can have other comorbid conditions — such as ADHD, alcoholism, or anxiety disorder.
Cyclothymia is a muted form of bipolar disorder that nevertheless interferes with your life. It involves multiple episodes of hypomania and depressive symptoms, which don’t meet the criteria for mania or major depression. Symptoms must last for at least two years, during which you have no more than two months without symptoms.
An unpleasant, irritable mood. The opposite of euphoria.
Chronic, low-level depression, commonly characterized by irritability and an inability to feel pleasure or joy.
Electroconvulsive Therapy is a medical procedure in which a low-level electrical current is applied to the brain to induce a mild seizure in order to treat depression. ECT is often successful in treating depression that doesn’t respond to medicine or therapy or in cases in which patients prefer it to any of the other treatment choices.
Essential Fatty Acids are healthy fat, which your body uses for tissue development and other purposes, that you must obtain through diet. Omega-3 is a source of several EFAs that may be valuable in treating many health problems, including mood disorders.
A feeling of elation, which is great unless it becomes exaggerated, as it sometimes does with the onset of hypomania or mania.
Moods considered to be in the normal range — not manic or depressive.
The ability to organize, sort, and manage incoming information and make decisions. Many psychiatric disorders weaken executive functioning, often leading to impaired judgment and uninhibited behavior.
Highly charged attitudes that people express in words or gestures, that are part of a family pattern, and that affect the person who has the mood disorder.
A neurotransmitter that’s involved in revving up the central nervous system. Glutamate may play a significant role in causing mania.
Having an excessive interest or involvement in sexual activity.
A medical term for high energy, very outgoing and active, often highly confident, temperamental, and sometimes arrogant or narcissistic.
A malfunction of the thyroid gland that results in the overproduction of hormones; the symptoms can mimic those of mania.
An elevated mood that doesn’t qualify as full-blown mania but that typically involves increased energy, less need for sleep, clarity of vision, and a strong creative drive.
A malfunction of the thyroid gland that results in the underproduction of hormones; the symptoms can mimic depression.
A clear acceptance/understanding of a psychological disorder and the ability to objectively observe one’s own behaviors and attitudes that are characteristic of the disorder.
Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy is a therapy developed specifically to maintain mood stability through strict scheduling, learning about personal roles, coping with transitions, developing healthy routines, increasing social contact, and resolving and preventing interpersonal problems.
The gradual increase in susceptibility to mood episodes with each successive occurrence of a mood episode.
An amount of a prescription medication that’s intended to prevent the onset of symptoms rather than treat existing symptoms.
Major Depressive Episode
An extreme low mood lasting at least two weeks and characterized by symptoms such as despair, fatigue, loss or increase in appetite, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, sleeping too much or the inability to sleep, and thoughts of death or suicide.
An extremely elevated mood typically characterized by euphoria, excessive energy, impulsivity, nervousness, impaired judgment, irritability, and a decreased need for sleep.
Another name for bipolar disorder.
A period of elevated mood, either euphoric or irritable, typically characterized by impulsivity, nervousness, impaired judgment, irritability, and a decreased need for sleep. The period must last at least one week.
A class of antidepressant medications that slow the action of monoamine oxidase, an enzyme responsible for breaking down dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine in the brain. Doctors often prescribe MAO inhibitors only if a person reacts poorly to other antidepressants because of the strict diet changes needed when taking MAO inhibitors.
Mechanism of Action
The way a medication acts on the biology or physiology of the brain to produce the desired effect.
A mood episode in which depression and mania are both present, typically resulting in excited irritability.
A psychiatric condition that results in persistently disrupted moods and/or mood regulation.
A medication that prevents depression and mania. The term typically describes any medications that have anti-manic effects, even if they don’t treat depression.
Another name for antipsychotics, neuroleptics led the charge in pharmacological treatment of mental illness in the 1950s and 1960s.
Best known for its role in your fight-or-flight response, norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that functions to regulate mood, anxiety, and memory.
A legal use of a prescription medication to treat symptoms that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) didn’t officially approve it to treat.
Nickname for psychiatrist.
The use of light to stimulate mood changes.
The signs of discomfort that prompt you to visit your doctor.
The early signs that indicate an impending mood episode.
A physician who specializes in the biology and physiology of the brain. A psychiatrist’s primary role in treating bipolar disorder is to diagnose and prescribe medication, but psychiatrists also provide patient education and psychotherapy.
A type of therapy that consists primarily of educating the afflicted person about the condition, its causes, and its treatment so he can more effectively manage the condition.
A professional who specializes in thought processes and behaviors. A psychologist can play a critical role in stabilizing moods by helping the sufferer adjust negative thoughts and thought processes and control self-destructive behaviors.
A brain malfunction that blurs the line between the real and the imagined world, often causing auditory hallucinations, irrational fears, and delusions.
A state in which mood alternates between depression and mania more than four times in a year.
Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is the application of strong, quick-changing magnetic fields to the brain to produce electrical fields indirectly.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a mood disorder that’s strongly linked to the change of seasons. People who have SAD commonly experience major depressive episodes in the winter months.
A sudden, involuntary muscle contraction caused by a brain malfunction.
Selective Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor is a class of antidepressant medications that prevent the brain from absorbing and breaking down the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin after their use.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor is a class of antidepressant medications that prevent the brain from absorbing and breaking down the neurotransmitter serotonin after its use.
The attempt to stabilize your moods by taking nonprescription chemical substances, including alcohol and marijuana, or by regulating your doses of prescription medication without a doctor’s assistance.
A neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, anxiety, fear, sleep, body temperature, the rate at which your body releases certain hormones, and many other body and brain processes.
To brand someone as disgraceful or shameful.
Anything that revs up your brain and body. Stressors are usually negative, however, exciting and positive events can be stressful too.
A group of patients and/or family members who meet to discuss and empower one another in the face of a common illness.
The concentration of medicine in the bloodstream required for the medication to be effective.
A gland situated below the Adam’s apple that produces hormones that control growth and influence moods.
TSD: Total Sleep Deprivation is a therapy for depression that consists of subjecting a patient to 36 hours without sleep followed by a 12-hour recovery sleep. Some studies show that TSD alleviates depression, but it poses a risk of inducing mania.
A class of medications developed to treat depression by limiting the reuptake of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine.
A mood disorder characterized by episodes of major depression without symptoms of mania or hypomania.